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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hazelnut Macaroons

I had the pleasure of encountering my first ever hazelnut macaroon from a tiny family-run bakery in Istanbul, Turkey. A giant swirl wrapped tightly in clingfilm, I took one nibble and swooned at the crusty nutty edge.

It got even better. A few more bites and I had reached its moist inner core, a soft chewy heart rich with the goodness of hazelnut. Have you ever eaten something so good, you're dreading the moment when you reach the end? I remember eating half and longingly setting it aside for the next morning. The fact it was about the size of a small orange also helped.

The next day I had the rest of the macaroon for breakfast (it had gone a little soft at the edges but it was still so very good). I left our hotel and headed straight back to the bakery for more.

My search for hazelnut macaroons since then has been somewhat futile. Admittedly Turkey is flush with cheap hazelnuts, producing almost 70% of the world's hazelnut crop. Whilst I've found plenty of amazing almond macaroons around Sydney, the few hazelnut versions I've discovered were either too dry or mixed with almonds.

Luckily, making your own isn't that difficult at all. My usual nut shop was out of hazelnut meal so a little patience was required to blitz whole hazelnuts into meal using a spice grinder and very small batches.

The unusually high temperature for cooking this meringue is essential to ensure the meringues are golden outside but not cooked till dry. The greatest delight about these macaroons is the contrast between the crusty sugary surface and the chewy meringue within.

Hazelnut macaroons

2 egg whites
50g caster sugar
100g ground hazelnuts (hazelnut meal)
24-36 whole hazelnuts, skins intact

Beat the egg white with an electric mixer until the egg whites are thick and foamy. Gradually incorporate the caster sugar, beating well between each addition.

Gently fold in the ground hazelnuts.

Use a piping bag to create rosetta swirls on a baking tray lined with baking paper. If you do not have a piping bag, drop equal spoonfuls onto the baking paper. Top each swirl with a whole hazelnut.

Bake at 200C (180C for fan-forced ovens) for about 15-20 minutes or until the meringues are a golden brown. Allow to sit for about 5 minutes then gently remove the meringues from the tray and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

It is important to store the meringues in an air-tight container on their own otherwise the meringues may harden.
12 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/03/2008 10:29:00 pm


  • At 6/05/2008 5:54 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    So few ingredients for so much joy! Thanks for the recipe, I'm definitely giving these a go... especially after your gorgeous description :)

  • At 6/05/2008 7:37 pm, Blogger spicyicecream said…

    oooh, these look delicious! I have heaps of eggwhites to use up at the moment too, so this sounds perfect!

  • At 6/07/2008 12:35 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Christie - Indeed, often the less ingredients there are, the better they taste. Happy baking - hope you enjoy them :)

    Hi Lisa - They are very yum indeed. I love having left-over whites - meringues, pavlovas and macaroons are all so delicious. They also freeze well. In fact, apparently frozen and defrosted whites hold their shape better when whisked than fresh ones :)

  • At 6/08/2008 8:04 pm, Blogger uberannie said…

    Hi Helen!

    Did you see your blog's mention in the Sunday magazine? (from the Sunday Telegraph) :)

  • At 6/10/2008 8:49 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Uberannie - Thanks for letting me know; no, I didn't realise. Am still trying to track down a copy of the mag. I hope it was all good :)

  • At 6/17/2008 9:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I should try making some myself eh.. :)

  • At 6/23/2008 9:15 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Mama Bok - You should :) And I'm sure you can source plenty of hazelnuts over there, thank goodness!

  • At 4/17/2009 11:54 am, Blogger Energetica said…

    Hey....love your blog! I came upon it last month and have read it all through (twice) by now! :)
    Had a question - will cashewnuts be as good as hazelnuts, in this recipe? We dont get hazelnuts too easily in Bombay (where I'm from) and I dont like almonds too much... :(

  • At 4/18/2009 11:09 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Energetica - Thanks for your comment. Have you really read the entire blog, twice?!

    I haven't tried this with cashews, but perhaps you can try it and find out? Let me know how it turns out! Would love to know.

  • At 4/21/2009 2:27 am, Blogger Energetica said…

    Hey AG,

    Yesterday was Baking Day - tried to make the cashew macaroons - unfortunately, they flopped - literally and figratively. My mistake - but lets not get into that. :( The taste was awesome though - rich yet comforting. :)
    Also tried my hand at Nigella's Chocolate Cheesecake - thank goodness, that turned out well - I wouldnt be able to stomach (heheheh) 2 disasters back-to-back!

  • At 4/21/2009 2:28 am, Blogger Energetica said…

    By the way, I follow your blog - and have added it to my list on my blog. Hope you dont mind!

  • At 4/22/2009 11:08 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Energetic - Sorry to hear they didn't work out :( And thanks for the follow :)


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